Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Azerbaijan: Court Convicts Youth ACTIVISTS And BLOGGERS Satirising Government

Posted by Info on 12/11/2009

Youth activists Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli were convicted on hooliganism and violence charges in a Baku court on November 11. International observers and youth activists immediately expressed outrage at the verdict.

Twenty-six-year-old Adnan Hajizade, a co-founder of the OL (To Be) youth movement, and 30-year-old Emin Milli, a co-founder of the online Alumni Network, were arrested on July 8 for hooliganism after they allegedly started a brawl in a Baku cafe. The prosecution has drawn criticism from international human rights’ organizations as well as local youth activists.

Despite the lack of incriminating evidence, Hajizade was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment while his co-defendant Milli was given a harsher sentence of two and a half years. The judge gave no rationale for the different sentences.

A court in Azerbaijan has handed down prison terms to two bloggers who posted a video of a donkey(here) seen as satirising the government. They maintain they were arrested and convicted because of their online criticism of the authorities.

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